The Weekend Desk Report
"President Obama and his aides were surprised this month by the strength of public opposition to their call for military action against Syria," Doyle McManus writes for the Los Angeles Times.
A) I'm sure they viewed missile strikes as no different, really, than drone strikes. What's the big deal?
And in a sense, that's understandable. The public has accepted the drone war, though favorable polling isn't surprising when framed with questions like "Do you support drone strikes against terrorists" instead of "Do you support drone strikes against teenagers and funeral-goers whose names we don't even know and aren't suspected of any particular wrongdoing."
B) It's one thing to strike in Pakistan, where the drone wars began and we've long been enmeshed as part of the Afghan-Iraq wars, and Yemen, which few Americans can find on a map, but striking Syria would be starting a new war, not one inherited from George W. Bush.
C) Increased skepticism because of the disingenuous way the nation was led into war with Iraq, and the discovery that no WMDs existed, is also a factor, but one that would be ameliorated if the Obama administration was held in credible stead by the public. It is not, particularly with the exploding NSA scandal. The Obama brand is now "more of the same," if not "worse than Bush."
The administration's stumblebum approach to Syria hasn't helped either, and it's not clear at all to the public why we want to strike Bashar al-Assad now when he's been a murderous dictator from the start - one we've been happy to dine with.
Like A Boss
"Now I'm aware that this was really no big deal; I'm not saying I'm an estuary Che Guevara. It was a daft joke by a daft comic at a daft event. It makes me wonder, though, how the relationships and power dynamics I witnessed on this relatively inconsequential context are replicated on a more significant scale.
"For example, if you can't criticize Hugo Boss at the GQ awards because they own the event, do you think it is significant that energy companies donate to the Tory party? Will that affect government policy? Will the relationships that 'politician of the year' Boris Johnson has with City bankers - he took many more meetings with them than public servants in his first term as mayor - influence the way he runs our capital?
"Is it any wonder that Amazon, Vodafone and Starbucks avoid paying tax when they enjoy such cozy relationships with members of our government?
"Ought we be concerned that our rights to protest are being continually eroded under the guise of enhancing our safety? Is there a relationship between proposed fracking in the UK, new laws that prohibit protest and the relationships between energy companies and our government?"
Birdies And Bogeys
Paging Russell Brand!
"The Quandt family, major shareholder of BMW, and one of the richest in Germany, is finally and belatedly confessing to its Nazi-past," Bertel Schmitt reported for The Truth About Cars in 2011.
"Patriarch Günther Quandt was an early member of the Nazi party, he joined 1933, after Hitler's election. During the Third Reich, Quandt company empire was kept running by more than 50,000 slave laborers. Many businesses that were taken away from Jewish owners ended up in the hands of Quandt.
"He even had odd family ties with the Nazi elite. His second wife Magda, which he had married when she was half his age, divorced him eight years later, only to marry propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, with Adolf Hitler as a witness.
"While other German carmakers, first and foremost Volkswagen, came to terms with their past, the owners of BMW denied it until recently."
The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Brand journalism.
The College Football Report: Piñatas And Virgins.
The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report: Ghost Peppers vs. An Assful Of Adrian Peterson.
Riot Fest Report: Butter Stamos.
The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "35 years ago Cheap Trick were Live at Budokan. This week, they do it all again live in our studio."
The CAN TV Weekend Viewing Report: CAN TV brings you local, relevant issues from Chicago's neighborhoods and communities. See what's happening around the city in education, the arts, government, cultural events, social services and community activities.
A Sight Unlike Any Other: The Civil War and the Colored Soldier
Saturday at 7 p.m. on CAN TV19.
Community Forum: Stay in School
High school student Gladys Vejar shares her experience with the Stay in School program, which encourages students in at-risk communities to graduate high school by providing social services, leadership engagement and other workshops.
Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on CAN TV21.
Perspectivas Latinas: Gear Up, Get Ready
Laritza Lopez of Gear Up, Get Ready shares ways to prepare your home and your family for any kind of disaster.
Saturday at 8 p.m. on CAN TV19.
The Rise of the Total Surveillance State and the War on a Free Press
In light of recent revelations of massive government surveillance programs, Chicago Area Peace Action hosts a conversation about the tenuous balance between surveillance, the free press and democracy.
Sunday at 9 a.m. on CAN TV21.
Chicago Poverty Hearing
Members of the public weigh in whether government programs meant to reduce the number of people in extreme poverty are working. This public hearing was hosted by the Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty and Heartland Alliance.
Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on CAN TV21.
Community Forum: Shadow Town
Her Story Theater artistic director and playwright Mary Bonnett discusses Shadow Town, a play about the problem of sex trafficking in and around Chicago that Bonnett wrote based on interviews with victims.
Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on CAN TV21.
Featured Artist: Jazz Odyssey Quartet
Don't miss the talented players of the Jazz Odyssey Quartet putting their own spin on some classic jazz standards.
Sunday at 9 p.m. on CAN TV19.
Posted on September 14, 2013
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